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Author Topic: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana  (Read 14067 times)

Offline flasyb

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2012, 05:25:53 PM »
Ummm ok, so it turns out no E-2 visa holders were arrested at all.

It was our brothers and sisters on F-4 visas getting into trouble again.

http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2012/02/closer-look-at-fridays-hagwon.html

Seeing as I wrote that blog post, I should probably make clear that I said "If the teachers are 'Canadian and American citizens of Korean ethnicity,' then it's much more likely that they are F-4 visa holders." We don't know if they are or not. Judging by comments made by the police about how hagwons hiring foreign instructors "must receive a 'medical report' including drug test results, but this is often ignored," it would make sense if at least some of them are, but we don't know for sure. Some of them may have been E-2. Of course, the media always lumps F-visa criminals in with E-2s, so that's nothing new.

I'm not sure if periodic testing is an idea that would go far. The current, new improved tests (which are only a year old) cost about $100 a pop. While I wouldn't put it past the government to impose such tests and make the teachers pay for them (again), even the gov't might realize that would be a bit of a kick in the teeth, which would then make the alternative of paying at least 2 million dollars to test every E-2 teacher an extra time a year a bit daunting. But who knows. When it comes to 'western bandits,' as we were called in the Chosun Dynasty, no measure seems to be enough. Instead of one HIV/drug test per visa, HIV and drug testing every year (for public school teachers), instead of a TPBE test, one with marijuana, and then instead of those, a new form of testing. The same attitudes exist towards US soldiers, but we don't have the SOFA as a buffer.

As for Anti English Spectrum, while you don't want to exaggerate their importance, they do have the ears of some national assembly members and people within the government. It was they who were responsible for two high-profile articles in 2006 and 2007 which linked foreign teachers to AIDS - the only time they were ever really linked - and then used those articles as the basis of petitions to the Ministry of Justice before being invited by the MoJ to the policy meeting in 2007 (after Christopher Paul Neil was arrested) which decided on the HIV tests (among other things) we have to take now.
This is all covered in detail here: http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-make-foreign-english-teachers.html
HIV testing would never have been an issue if not for AES, and they've been petitioning the government to keep them in place.


Great clarification and wonderful succinct summary with actual examples on the Anti-English Spectrum's level of real influence which we've been debating here.  I find it especially interesting that they created articles and then used them to gather petition support and get in on actual policy meetings.  They can write and get signatures and be included in certain decision-making processes, just like any activist-type group, and it seems like it would be silly to entirely dismiss them.

I agree in that Popular Gusts of Feeling is easily one of the best blogs on Korea out there and I love the media focus.

However, I still think that the AES should largely be ignored. Anyone can whip up the mob at any time. If you don't have solutions or ideas on what can be "done" about groups like the AES (I don't have any as I think nothing can be done), then why worry? Best just to ignore them and get on with your life here in Korea. When it comes down to it, their influence on my life and the lives of most other NETs has been totally minimal as far as I can see (I stand to be corrected). The other option is to start worrying about the xenophobes in the shadows who go through your rubbish and pull the judges' puppet strings. I know which is better for my piece of mind.

Mmm, no, another option is to be aware because I live here as an expat, and see no need to pay less attention to my community here than I would to local issues in my home town.  There are more options here than "bury head in sand" or "be completely paranoid," when it comes to the AES.  Do I stay awake at night worrying about them?  Of course not.  If I see an article about them somewhere or a discussion on a forum, do I pay attention and read it?  Yeah.

Pretty much what I said here, so I'm glad we agree!

I think Peekay's attitude is exactly the right one. Awareness is good, worry is bad when it comes to groups like this. Mockery is our ally.
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Offline woman-king

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2012, 05:28:35 PM »
AES have gone through foreigners' rubbish and logged the contents - they posted about rummaging through a female NET's rubbish in Daegu and finding a used condom.
I wonder how they spun that? Good in that she is using condoms so she doesn't spread her filthy AIDS, or bad in that she is a foreign harlot corrupting the purity of Korea?

I can't find the translation - it's on Gusts of Popiular Feeling somewhere - but they said something like "nothing turned up of any interest apart from a used condom". So it's "of interest" that an adult woman is sexuall active? Creeps. I'd say that lands more on the side of "foreign harlot".

It says everything about these dudes that one of their cartoons depicted a foreign teacher's brain - it showed his "depravity" as he wondered "who will be the tenth person I sleep with"? (Unless they meant "tenth person that night", which I admit would be fairly free n'easy.)

Peekay, I agree, I find these guys sort of fascinating in their own right, as I do any conspiracy theorist, or wacky cult.  I've been on their forum exactly two times, I believe, and both were hilarious because they lack absolutely any sense of irony whatsoever.  But, again, when they get serious about being political they can do an okay job of it, and I don't want to be ignorant of them.

Offline woman-king

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2012, 05:29:48 PM »
Ummm ok, so it turns out no E-2 visa holders were arrested at all.

It was our brothers and sisters on F-4 visas getting into trouble again.

http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2012/02/closer-look-at-fridays-hagwon.html

Seeing as I wrote that blog post, I should probably make clear that I said "If the teachers are 'Canadian and American citizens of Korean ethnicity,' then it's much more likely that they are F-4 visa holders." We don't know if they are or not. Judging by comments made by the police about how hagwons hiring foreign instructors "must receive a 'medical report' including drug test results, but this is often ignored," it would make sense if at least some of them are, but we don't know for sure. Some of them may have been E-2. Of course, the media always lumps F-visa criminals in with E-2s, so that's nothing new.

I'm not sure if periodic testing is an idea that would go far. The current, new improved tests (which are only a year old) cost about $100 a pop. While I wouldn't put it past the government to impose such tests and make the teachers pay for them (again), even the gov't might realize that would be a bit of a kick in the teeth, which would then make the alternative of paying at least 2 million dollars to test every E-2 teacher an extra time a year a bit daunting. But who knows. When it comes to 'western bandits,' as we were called in the Chosun Dynasty, no measure seems to be enough. Instead of one HIV/drug test per visa, HIV and drug testing every year (for public school teachers), instead of a TPBE test, one with marijuana, and then instead of those, a new form of testing. The same attitudes exist towards US soldiers, but we don't have the SOFA as a buffer.

As for Anti English Spectrum, while you don't want to exaggerate their importance, they do have the ears of some national assembly members and people within the government. It was they who were responsible for two high-profile articles in 2006 and 2007 which linked foreign teachers to AIDS - the only time they were ever really linked - and then used those articles as the basis of petitions to the Ministry of Justice before being invited by the MoJ to the policy meeting in 2007 (after Christopher Paul Neil was arrested) which decided on the HIV tests (among other things) we have to take now.
This is all covered in detail here: http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-make-foreign-english-teachers.html
HIV testing would never have been an issue if not for AES, and they've been petitioning the government to keep them in place.


Great clarification and wonderful succinct summary with actual examples on the Anti-English Spectrum's level of real influence which we've been debating here.  I find it especially interesting that they created articles and then used them to gather petition support and get in on actual policy meetings.  They can write and get signatures and be included in certain decision-making processes, just like any activist-type group, and it seems like it would be silly to entirely dismiss them.

I agree in that Popular Gusts of Feeling is easily one of the best blogs on Korea out there and I love the media focus.

However, I still think that the AES should largely be ignored. Anyone can whip up the mob at any time. If you don't have solutions or ideas on what can be "done" about groups like the AES (I don't have any as I think nothing can be done), then why worry? Best just to ignore them and get on with your life here in Korea. When it comes down to it, their influence on my life and the lives of most other NETs has been totally minimal as far as I can see (I stand to be corrected). The other option is to start worrying about the xenophobes in the shadows who go through your rubbish and pull the judges' puppet strings. I know which is better for my piece of mind.

Mmm, no, another option is to be aware because I live here as an expat, and see no need to pay less attention to my community here than I would to local issues in my home town.  There are more options here than "bury head in sand" or "be completely paranoid," when it comes to the AES.  Do I stay awake at night worrying about them?  Of course not.  If I see an article about them somewhere or a discussion on a forum, do I pay attention and read it?  Yeah.

Pretty much what I said here, so I'm glad we agree!

I think Peekay's attitude is exactly the right one. Awareness is good, worry is bad when it comes to groups like this. Mockery is our ally.

Oh sorry, I didn't read the whole page first.

Offline Peekay1982

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2012, 08:06:53 PM »
AES have gone through foreigners' rubbish and logged the contents - they posted about rummaging through a female NET's rubbish in Daegu and finding a used condom.
I wonder how they spun that? Good in that she is using condoms so she doesn't spread her filthy AIDS, or bad in that she is a foreign harlot corrupting the purity of Korea?

I can't find the translation - it's on Gusts of Popiular Feeling somewhere - but they said something like "nothing turned up of any interest apart from a used condom". So it's "of interest" that an adult woman is sexuall active? Creeps. I'd say that lands more on the side of "foreign harlot".

It says everything about these dudes that one of their cartoons depicted a foreign teacher's brain - it showed his "depravity" as he wondered "who will be the tenth person I sleep with"? (Unless they meant "tenth person that night", which I admit would be fairly free n'easy.)

Peekay, I agree, I find these guys sort of fascinating in their own right, as I do any conspiracy theorist, or wacky cult.  I've been on their forum exactly two times, I believe, and both were hilarious because they lack absolutely any sense of irony whatsoever.  But, again, when they get serious about being political they can do an okay job of it, and I don't want to be ignorant of them.

Sometimes I stay awake thinking about them - not worrying about when they'll be opening up the Foreigner Happy Pleasure!! Re-education Rightful Thinking camps, but whether one day I'll end up as a similarly lonely, bitter person. It is a worry at times. I don't think I'd ever be sucked into extremist race-based politics but if I end up alone I could see myself becoming a tropical fish or bird-spotting obsessive.

We should do an outreach programme where every member of AES gets a six-month sexual relationship with an NET (we'd match up sexes and sexual orientations accordingly - although I'm assuming there aren't too many female AES members, perhaps unfairly). The combination of regular sex and actually seeing that NETs are human would do a lot to temper their anger against us. On the other hand, we'd have to make sure that the ending of the relationship didn't send any of them off the deep end. Perhaps every NET could be assigned a shift with a AES member for some portion of their sojourn in Korea - kind of like military service? That way AES members could be kept constantly, er, occupied. 

Offline bulgasari

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #84 on: February 23, 2012, 05:48:57 PM »
I really don't get why people are so pissed about the HIV test on the health check. It is pretty standard in other countries as well when getting a VISA.  Yes, The Anti English Spectrum website/group is nutz and their xenophobic rhetoric is really annoying and obnoxious. These kind of groups exist in all of our countries. There is nothing unique about them. Instead of constantly stressing out we should just ignore them and not give them the attention that they are seeking. Let's not flatter ourselves. This isn't Orwell's 1984 and "Big Brother" isn't watching us. The CBC and Health check involving an AIDS and Drug test is nothing new.  Most developed countries have similar requirments when foriegners have tried getting a work VISA. It's not xenophobic or racist just the government trying to protect it's citizens. I honestly don't think the Korean Government is full of  fear mongoring politicians out to expell all the foriegners in Korea and protect the Korean race. As for the blog, it is a bunch of nonsense and another waygook trying to put together a story on his personal blog and call himself a journalist.  I am sure 99% of Koreans don't really care what we do as long as we stay out of trouble and teach their children. I really doubt they are sitting in coffee shops with their friends discussing how bad foriegners are in Korea and how we are all spreading AIDS. Yes, you do have your racist, xenophobic Koreans but no more than I would find some racist, bigoted American talking about Muslims in post 9/11 America or some Aussie talking trash about Aborigines. These people are everywhere and it is best to ignore them (and contrary to popular belief, it is really easy to do if you have a life!!!). I'm finished.

My issue with the HIV testing is A) the fact that it's most likely due entirely to AES, and B) HIV testing for foreign workers in Korea has been removed from all the other visa classes - except for the E-2. Migrant workers (E-9), athletes, performers, and 'entertainers' (including bar workers in areas near USFK bases) (E-6) no longer (officially) receive HIV tests. I think this post summed it up best:
http://tharp42.livejournal.com/306108.html

Note that the Ministry of Health and Welfare did not say HIV tests were kept for E-2s due to health concerns, only that they were "just intended to reassure the parents." Much like the SMOE cuts, this was justified by an online survey done by the prime minister's office which could be filled out by any adult (not just 'parents'). What I liked was that in the English language articles about this, they had to explain why the tests were being continued for E-2s, while in the Korean language article, there was no explanation necessary. People already 'knew' why they were being continued.

Actually, my guess is that a lot of it has more to do with the Ministry of Justice meeting halfway with the Ministry of Education, which was petitioned by SMOE and other education offices around the country to get the MoJ to make HIV testing mandatory even when renewing contracts. MoJ said no, but may have argued, when plans were being made to abolish tests for other visas, to keep the one time tests in place for to make MoE happy. But that's just a guess. There's more on the MoE's manoeuvering in this article:
http://www.koreaherald.com/lifestyle/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20100824000708

Offline Peekay1982

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2012, 07:29:22 PM »

Actually, my guess is that a lot of it has more to do with the Ministry of Justice meeting halfway with the Ministry of Education, which was petitioned by SMOE and other education offices around the country to get the MoJ to make HIV testing mandatory even when renewing contracts. MoJ said no, but may have argued, when plans were being made to abolish tests for other visas, to keep the one time tests in place for to make MoE happy. But that's just a guess. There's more on the MoE's manoeuvering in this article:
http://www.koreaherald.com/lifestyle/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20100824000708

Am I right in thinking that local BoEs require everyone of any visa working as an NET to get HIV test? I seem to remember getting AIDS tested every year (I work at a middle school).

How do I feel about it? I don't know. Clearly left-wing, xenophobic teacher's unions don't want us here and have a say in implementing policies which are designed to let us know as much. Equally AES' petitioning is based on some kind of vaguely racist (or racistly* vague) idea that westerners are more sexually active, or more sexually irresponsible, than Koreans. Are HIV positive people allowed to teach in the west? 

*is this a word?

Offline bulgasari

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #86 on: February 24, 2012, 01:47:17 AM »
With the exception of the Jeollanam-do, all of the ROK’s provincial and metropolitan offices of educations require foreign English teachers regardless of visa to be initially tested and then annually re-tested for HIV and drugs.

How much of a role the KTU plays in this I really don't know. I've seen one office of education's defense of its HIV testing and they make it clear enough it's because the people in charge at this office of education thought foreign teachers were not as 'moral' as Koreans. That plus their conviction that it's in their power to compel us to do whatever they want and we have to comply or kiss our jobs goodbye. I don't remember much focus on 'we have to protect the children,' the usual justification.

Offline Paul

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #87 on: February 24, 2012, 10:57:32 AM »
I can't seem to see any reference to this here, but did anyone notice the real story we've been used to smokescreen?

Once again, Popular Gusts has done a comprehensive mediawatch:
http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2012/02/closer-look-at-fridays-hagwon.html

Quote from: MBC via Popular Gusts
Among those caught for smoking marijuana was the grandson of the founder of a jaebeol group, a vice president of a social commerce company, the nephew of the president of a savings bank, the chairman of a jaebol subsidiary, and the son of a well known professor at a prestigious university.

Basically, the teachers arrested were dealing to direct relatives of prominent figures including chaebol families. So let's think about this. Say we owned the media. Heck, let's say that hypothetically we owned the entirety of Korea. And some pretty damning news involving us crops up. Would we report it in a fair and balanced (in the non-trademarked sense of the phrase) manner?

I tire of reading these articles when the logical response to appease the public is so bloody clear: drug-test everyone working with kids.

* * *

For something amusingly fiscally irresponsible, I've been given a medical test (including the blood test) twice in the past 6 months. One of those times after being told I'm leaving. I started kinda enjoying the tests because of the vision component to tell the truth. It became a running joke that my eyesight was degrading (actually 20:20, but the local doctors continually prove themselves incapable of accepting I'm not Russian and cannot read Cyrillic).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 12:24:56 PM by Paul »
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Offline flasyb

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2012, 03:10:38 PM »
I can't seem to see any reference to this here, but did anyone notice the real story we've been used to smokescreen?

Once again, Popular Gusts has done a comprehensive mediawatch:
http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2012/02/closer-look-at-fridays-hagwon.html

Quote from: MBC via Popular Gusts
Among those caught for smoking marijuana was the grandson of the founder of a jaebeol group, a vice president of a social commerce company, the nephew of the president of a savings bank, the chairman of a jaebol subsidiary, and the son of a well known professor at a prestigious university.

Basically, the teachers arrested were dealing to direct relatives of prominent figures including chaebol families. So let's think about this. Say we owned the media. Heck, let's say that hypothetically we owned the entirety of Korea. And some pretty damning news involving us crops up. Would we report it in a fair and balanced (in the non-trademarked sense of the phrase) manner?

I tire of reading these articles when the logical response to appease the public is so bloody clear: drug-test everyone working with kids.

* * *

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.
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Offline Peekay1982

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #89 on: February 24, 2012, 04:32:25 PM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Offline flasyb

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #90 on: February 24, 2012, 10:23:37 PM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Very very true. There's no disagreeing with any of that.
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Offline Peekay1982

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2012, 11:34:48 PM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Very very true. There's no disagreeing with any of that.

You're right though in that I do sometimes wonder who these stories are aimed at. The papers are always full of tales of western foreigners' misdeeds - but the Koreans I know don't seem to care at all. But then I suppose I read trashy immigrant-baiting tabloids in the UK without letting them influence my opinion of immigrants.

Offline flasyb

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2012, 11:45:48 PM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Very very true. There's no disagreeing with any of that.

You're right though in that I do sometimes wonder who these stories are aimed at. The papers are always full of tales of western foreigners' misdeeds - but the Koreans I know don't seem to care at all. But then I suppose I read trashy immigrant-baiting tabloids in the UK without letting them influence my opinion of immigrants.

Yeah, I've noticed that some of the Koreans (mainly colleagues) who I speak to seem to buy into it but when they speak to me it's, "I think foreigners are/do/think X but not you. You are different." However, most Koreans I speak seem to be very sceptical about the media in general. And the government. They don't believe the government line on many things (remembering the fairly recent nuclear rain episode). Then I think about the Express and the DM at home and I think that they do work to create a culture of anti-immigrant sentiment in certain quarters of society. At the end of the day though, the people who matter tend to know better.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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Offline Peekay1982

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #93 on: February 25, 2012, 12:09:34 AM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Very very true. There's no disagreeing with any of that.

You're right though in that I do sometimes wonder who these stories are aimed at. The papers are always full of tales of western foreigners' misdeeds - but the Koreans I know don't seem to care at all. But then I suppose I read trashy immigrant-baiting tabloids in the UK without letting them influence my opinion of immigrants.

Yeah, I've noticed that some of the Koreans (mainly colleagues) who I speak to seem to buy into it but when they speak to me it's, "I think foreigners are/do/think X but not you. You are different." However, most Koreans I speak seem to be very sceptical about the media in general. And the government. They don't believe the government line on many things (remembering the fairly recent nuclear rain episode). Then I think about the Express and the DM at home and I think that they do work to create a culture of anti-immigrant sentiment in certain quarters of society. At the end of the day though, the people who matter tend to know better.

Yeah, if you read the comments on The Sun there are a lot of people who have a real hatred for immigrants - but they probably know immigrants personally who are "fine".

My auntie reads the Express - I find it odd because she's an immigrant herself! It's like the DM but without the occasional flash of humour. I always tell her that it's written for people who hate foreigners. Apparently it has a good crossword.

Offline Frozencat99

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #94 on: February 25, 2012, 12:38:12 AM »
All of my Korean co-workers seem to understand that, as with any population, you have good and bad people. Unfortunately for our sample size, the media can easily display the bad ones. It is odd that some Koreans don't pick up on the implication. Good NETs aren't newsworthy.

"Well-liked American NET caught doing her job properly"

From my talks with Korean friends and co-workers, they seem to honestly feel bad for us that some people drink every night, commit crimes, etc. and that we have to deal with the ramifications collectively. Of course, as I've said many times, you have to keep in mind that I really got lucky and work with an excellent faculty in a foreigner-friendly town.
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Offline woman-king

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #95 on: February 25, 2012, 11:54:07 PM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Very very true. There's no disagreeing with any of that.

You're right though in that I do sometimes wonder who these stories are aimed at. The papers are always full of tales of western foreigners' misdeeds - but the Koreans I know don't seem to care at all. But then I suppose I read trashy immigrant-baiting tabloids in the UK without letting them influence my opinion of immigrants.

Well, that's the thing--I'm thinking "Grandson of ________ (chaebol family patriarch familiar to most Koreans) Caught SellingMarijuana" would be a pretty attention-grabbing headline, too.  But obviously, as you were saying that could create massive problems for the Herald, financially and otherwise.  Still, it's striking how the actual information got spun into such a typical song-and-dance about foreign drug-dealers with a pretty clear intention of distracting from the uncomfortable details of who these kids really were, and what was really going on.  Giving overt attention to actual wrongdoings by foreigners/NETs is annoying enough--using them as an easy media scapegoat to save face for important Koreans when their own family members f*ck up goes a bit beyond just annoying.   

Offline flasyb

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #96 on: February 26, 2012, 03:15:25 AM »

Hmm, I'm suspicious of this too but, again, journalists must ask themselves "What's the story?" Is the story that a bunch of rich kids bought some drugs or is the story that foreign English teachers were importing and selling the drugs? Which is more in the public interest? Looking at newspapers at the stand or shop, which headline are Korean readers more likely to want to read more about? In the inverted news pyramid, "Rich Kids Buy Some Drugs," is a lot further down than, "Foreign English Teachers Sell Some Drugs."

Of course for us NETs working in Korea, it seems unfair and misrepresentative and we'd like the side of the story concerning the rich Korean kids to make more news. However, that's less of the story and much less of a headline grabber. Plus, there's always the sneaking suspicion of special interests at work - journalists not wanting to step on the wrong toes and that.

Basically, what I'm saying is "chaebol families" or not, the journalists would probably have written the story in a similar way because that's what sells the papers. Not to mention the fact that some of these papers already seem to take an anti-NET editorial line. They need little extra influence to report it the way they have.

I agree that us dirty drug addicts/occasional teachers are headline gold - but I wouldn't underestimate the ability of influential people in Korea to get stuff squashed in the media or dealt with leniently by the police. The jaebeols are the media and state in Korea - look at the way Samsung threatened to remove advertising from any newspapers which mentioned a best-selling book criticising it; the way their toad-like chief Yi Geun-hee was pardoned for his massive tax evasion; or the way G-Dragon and Dae-seong got away with their marijuana and traffic accident scandals.   

Very very true. There's no disagreeing with any of that.

You're right though in that I do sometimes wonder who these stories are aimed at. The papers are always full of tales of western foreigners' misdeeds - but the Koreans I know don't seem to care at all. But then I suppose I read trashy immigrant-baiting tabloids in the UK without letting them influence my opinion of immigrants.

Well, that's the thing--I'm thinking "Grandson of ________ (chaebol family patriarch familiar to most Koreans) Caught SellingMarijuana" would be a pretty attention-grabbing headline, too.  But obviously, as you were saying that could create massive problems for the Herald, financially and otherwise.  Still, it's striking how the actual information got spun into such a typical song-and-dance about foreign drug-dealers with a pretty clear intention of distracting from the uncomfortable details of who these kids really were, and what was really going on. Giving overt attention to actual wrongdoings by foreigners/NETs is annoying enough--using them as an easy media scapegoat to save face for important Koreans when their own family members f*ck up goes a bit beyond just annoying.

Not really that "striking." What's the story? Rich kids buy drugs or foreign teachers sell drugs? I know what I'd run with if I were a journalist in Korea.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

We are not "guests" in Korea. Korea didn't invite us over for Pimms in the garden. We are paid employees.

Offline asiapundits

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #97 on: February 26, 2012, 05:16:00 AM »
Quote
If you regularly read any of the major English dailies in Korea, then there is a good chance that you have come across more than a few stories on foreign crime. The Korean media loves a good drug bust or murder involving a foreigner. Whether the stories they report on turn out to be true or not seems to be totally irrelevant. The Korean media will pretty much chew up and spit out almost any story the police give them involving foreigners, truth and the facts of the case be damned. The stories on foreigners in Korea often give off a sleazy tabloidesque vibe. The media’s tone can even get scary at times, like in this piece by controversial Korean Times journalist Kang Shin-who, a man who gave media voice and lent the government’s sympathetic ear to the well-known hate group Anti-English Spectrum.

The latest tale of foreigners unleashing mayhem and misery on Korean society comes to us this time via the Korea Herald, which ran a story on an alleged marijuana bust involving foreign English teachers in Seoul.

A cartoon that depicts a foreign English teacher, students and a policeman that looks ready to boil appeared in the Dong-Ilbo in 2009.

The Herald’s article reported the following:

    Police said Friday they have arrested and detained five people, including a Korean man with Canadian nationality, suspected of dealing marijuana in two separate drug rings.

    Police also booked 31 others, including a 36-year-old college professor from the U.S., for investigation without physical detention for allegedly purchasing the drug from the arrested suspects, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

    The Canadian national, a underground hip-hop singer working as a native teacher of English, identified only by the initial of his name H, allegedly sold marijuana to fellow English teachers from the U.S. and Canada as well as to an employee of a local industrial conglomerate, the police said.

    Alleging widespread marijuana smoking among foreign teachers, the police said the country needs a more thorough system to identify illegal hemp use among native English-speaking teachers here.

    “We plan to further broaden our investigation as there are assumed to be more hemp-circulation rings involving native teachers (of English),” a police official said.

The news of the arrests comes after police last week announced that they would conduct a major crackdown in areas of Seoul with large populations of foreign residents.

Yesterday, Gusts of Popular Feeling seemed to suggest that the Korea Herald did a half-assed job on investigating this story. Apparently, the Herald’s piece, except for last two paragraphs, was nothing more than a cookie cutter translation of the same story Yonhap broke earlier in the day.

More on this story and in your face analysis over @asiapundits - http://www.asiapundits.com/regions/korea/another-foreign-drug-bust-more-deceptive-reporting-from-the-korean-press/

Offline kps1

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #98 on: February 26, 2012, 01:27:18 PM »
This is how cops investigate now. They text you and tell you that you are under investigation. Then, before they arrest you, they post on your facebook wall.

Offline Peekay1982

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Re: Teachers Arrested for Dealing Marijuana
« Reply #99 on: February 27, 2012, 01:00:30 PM »
The "underground hip-hop singer" is surnamed Ham.

Could it be this dude - Perry Ham, an amateur rapper from Canadan now based in Seoul?

no, no it isn't, and please don't go making wild accusations that could land some innocent person in a lot of hot water.  i live in one of the affected cities and heard about this long before the news broke, and have met the accused on a few occasions.  the name and links you provided have nothing to do with him.  wrong 'ham'.

"Could it be this dude?" - woah. Egregious! Calm down, Erin Brockovich.

 

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